For this particular write-up, we'll be using FreeBSD 5.3 -- the 4.x series might be better for you if you've got old hardware, or if you're setting up a server, but for a workstation, we want the latest and greatest.
So, go get your FreeBSD CD -- ISO images available from ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/i386/ISO-IMAGES/ -- login as anonymous and use your email address as your password and get the first disk's ISO, burn it and boot from it.
Not much will be different from the Installing_FreeBSD_-_Standard_Installation, but you want to be sure to:
give /home a lot of space install the ports collection create a group for your user create a user and place the account in wheel install and configure X test the mouse daemon
Choosing a desktop and booting into it
Here you've got some choices, you can use a heavy desktop like Gnome or KDE -- ideal if you want an environment that's closer to the Microsoft Windows approach to graphical user interfaces, but they can be slower to load and use on slower PCs -- or user a lighter desktop environment like Window Maker, xfce or blackbox, which are less user friendly but much more responsive on machines with limited resources.
Installing common applications
- Internet -- browsers, ftp, etc.
- Productivity applications